Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Reading Updates’ Category

I Got Nothing.

I will review Possession on Tuesday.

Until then, every word I write on this blog zaps any potential energy I could use to write that review. How I do dread writing that review.

Consider this an off-day courtesy of A.S. Byatt. New post tomorrow.

Possession: You Hate It Or You Love It

Last week I told you guys I was out of things to say about Possession and/or A.S. Byatt. I’m saving the tiny bit I have left for my review. I really hate this book.

So I thought I’d let the sometimes-friendly reviewers at Good Reads tell you a little more about it.

The book has more than 42,000 ratings and 2,600 reviews, with an average rating of 3.85 out of 5.

As I highlight some of the reviews below, I’ll be fair. I’ll include 3 one-star and 3 five-star reviews of Possession.

Who cares what I think? Let the reviews speak for themselves. Read more

This Novel Has Left Me Speechless

Possession has left me speechless. But I’ll still write 296 words for this post, because I like you guys so much.

Or maybe I should say “unable to write”—or whatever the synonym for that is. I feel like this novel has sucked all the life out of my creative bones. It’s a literary Ambien that leaves me in a daze.

I want to finish it badly so I can move on to the next novel and cleanse my bookish palette, yet moving forward is so painful and there are so many other more worthwhile things I could be doing—like trimming my sideburns or spending two hours on the phone with AT&T’s customer service. Read more

A Story Within A Story Within A Story

I’m over halfway through Possession at this point, and I’m dizzy.

As a general rule, I believe a novel should have at least made a small amount of plot progression by page 250.

Possession has the pacing of a curling match. To this point—and I emphasize “to this point”—it’s just dry. I’m struggling to read this book.

Read more

“But their eyes were watching God.”

Before my review of Their Eyes Were Watching God tomorrow, I thought I’d share one more beautiful passage from the book.

Janie Crawford and her husband are living near the Everglades in Florida when a hurricane comes through. They board up in a building with several others who didn’t leave town.

Read more

This Might Be The Best Opening In Literature

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.

That opening from Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the best openings in literature.

The rhythm and pacing of ZNH’s sentences, the truthfulness and conviction in what she’s saying. It’s just a beautiful opening, I think.

And it sets the stage for the entire novel, along with this second paragraph.

Read more

Animal Farm, Interpreted Literally

This is so much better than my review of Animal Farm.

John Self is the protagonist in Money. I’ve already shared with you some of his pretty hilarious zingers. No doubt that Martin Amis is gifted with witty writing.

In the book, one of Self’s friends gives him a copy of Animal Farm. Self hates reading and routinely talks about his disdain of reading throughout the novel.

So, as an inexperienced reader, Animal Farm is completely over his head. The poor guy doesn’t even realize it’s an allegory.

Read more

Money Is Oh-So-Funny

If you can get past the “dirtiness” of this novel–and there’s a lot to get past–Money by Martin Amis is quite an entertaining book.

It’s one of the more quotable novels I’ve encountered on the list. It seems like there’s one zinger on every page.

The narrator, John Self, is a narcisstic jerk, a horrible person, but he will make you laugh. And because of that, it’s difficult not to like him at times.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes in the early pages of Money:

Read more

“Where else should they go but California?”

This is how Nathanael West describes a group of people in Hollywood who have gathered around a theater so they can catch a glimmer of a movie star.

The passage comes from The Day of the Locust:

Read more

This Is What Good Writing Looks Like

Sometimes, I highlight a passage and then get all wordy about how awesome it is and how beautiful the writing is and how the author must be an angel of the pen.

Today, though, I won’t do that, even though I just kind of did.

Today, I present to you a passage from Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep–a passage completely out of context, completely foreign if you’ve never read the book. But, obviously, the passage provoked strong emotions in me or I wouldn’t be sharing it with you.

Here’s the passage:

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27,873 other followers

%d bloggers like this: